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USDA Rural Development Announces $115,749 to Help Connecticut Businesses and Ag Producers Build Back Better

Name
Emily Cannon
City
WASHINGTON
Release Date
Sep 09, 2021

Projects Will Lower Energy Costs for Ten CT Businesses

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico.  In Connecticut, ten businesses will receive a total of $115,749 in grant funding.

“USDA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before,” Vilsack said. “We recognize that lowering energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers helps to expand economic development and employment opportunities for people in America’s rural towns and communities. The investments we are announcing today demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration has put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions.”

USDA Rural Development Connecticut Acting State Director Liz Gariepy said, “I am pleased that USDA Rural Development can assist ten Connecticut businesses to install renewable energy systems and make energy efficient improvements to their operations. Through these actions, rural businesses can lower energy costs and help create a cleaner environment for Connecticut communities.”

USDA is financing $129 million of these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. This program provides funding to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 379 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in rural America, which equates to enough electricity to power 35,677 homes per year.  

USDA is financing $335 million of these investments through the Electric Loan Program. The loans will help build or improve 1,432 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $102 million for investments in smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.

In Connecticut, ten businesses and agricultural producers have been selected to receive REAP Grants for a total of $115,749:

REAP Grant Recipients:

•    Freund’s Farm Market & Bakery, LLC., located in East Canaan, has received a grant in the amount of $10,447. This Rural Development investment will be used to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of high efficiency glass door produce coolers at the farm market. This project will realize $6,432 per year in savings, and will replace 7,291 kWh per year. Freund's Farm Market & Bakery is an existing business that that operates a farm market, bakery, garden center, and catering business in the middle of the family's dairy farm located in East Canaan, Connecticut.

•    Hunter Mathena, located in Berlin, has received a grant in the amount of $9,395. This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of an 18 kW solar array on the family farm.  This project will produce 18,198 kWh (100%) per year used to energize farm expansion. Hunter Mathena’s family farm raises beef cattle, chickens, and sheep in Berlin, Connecticut.

•    Broad Brook Acres, LLC., in Preston, has received a grant in the amount of $20,000. This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 38 kW solar array on the family farm of Michael Swanson.  This project will replace 45,007 kWh (100%) per year and realize $8,379 of saving per year. Broad Brook Acres raises and butchers their own animals to sell to their community in Preston, Connecticut.

•    Cavallo Farm, LLC., in Granby, has received a grant in the amount of $7,168. This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of an 18 kW solar array on the family farm of Anthony Troiano.  This project will replace 15,337 kWh (93%) per year and realize $3,067 of saving per year. Cavallo Farm is a horse farm that is a show and boarding facility with both indoor and outdoor rings in Granby, Connecticut.

•    Fat Orange Cat Brew Co., LLC., in East Hampton, has received a grant in the amount of $20,000. This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 22 kW solar array the Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.  This project will produce 22,771 kWh (100%) per year used to power operations at the rural small business. Fat Orange Brew Co. is a small, seasonal homestead brewery located in East Hampton, Connecticut.

•    CowPots, LLC., in East Canaan, has received a grant in the amount of $3,736. This Rural Development investment will be used to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED lighting and the upgrade of 2 standard motors to high efficiency motors. This project will realize $4,327 per year in savings, and will replace 21,635 kWh (25%) per year. CowPots is an existing business that manufactures planting containers from cow manure in East Canaan, Connecticut.

•    New England Meat Packing, LLC., in Stafford Springs, has received a grant in the amount of $9,138. This Rural Development investment will be used to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED lighting. This project will realize $6,772 per year in savings, and will replace 39,837 kWh (9%) per year. New England Meat Packing LLC is a meat packing facility serving New England's farmers, residents, and growing businesses for fresh quality meats in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.

•    Running Brook Farms, LLC., in Killingworth, has received a grant in the amount of $5,918. This Rural Development investment will be used to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED lighting. This project will realize $3,709 per year in savings, and will replace 18,547 kWh (58%) per year. Running Brook Farms is an existing, family owned and operated garden center, nursery, and landscape company in Killingworth, Connecticut.

•    Ginger Creek Nursery, LLC., in Norfolk, has received a grant in the amount of $10,013. This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 9.3 kW ground mounted solar array at the Ginger Creek Nursery.  This project will replace 12,083 kWh per year and realize $1,788 of saving per year. Ginger Creek Nursery offers retail sale of organic plant materials, compost tea, compost, and more in Norfolk, Connecticut.

•    Smokedown Farm, LLC., in Sharon, has received a grant in the amount of $19,934. This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 20 kW roof mounted solar array on the farm.  This project will replace 24,856 kWh per year and realize $3,102 of saving per year. Smokedown Farm is a 9 acre farm that grows seven varieties of hops in Sharon, Connecticut.

For more information on the REAP Program, contact Jonathan Burns, Renewable Energy Coordinator, at (508) 295-5151 x 7238 or jonathan.burns@usda.gov.

The department is announcing investments today in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico. 

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ct

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. 


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